Feature Archive

Can Your Cholesterol Be Too Low?

Unlike a lot of men, the writer never worried about cholesterol -- until some surprising studies linked low cholesterol to violent behavior.

WebMD Feature

June 26, 2000 -- "This can't be right," the medical technician tells me, reading a number off the small display screen. "We'll have to do the test one more time."

"But wait," I object, telling her that my cholesterol level has always been on the low side. No use. Not once but twice, she jabs the tip of my finger and squeezes out a few drops of blood to test. The numbers remain stubbornly low: barely over 120. The average for most people is around 180.

As usual, I feel an absurd swell of pride at the results of the blood test, as if I've just passed an exam with flying colors. I've always counted myself lucky. Unlike a lot of men, I don't have to worry about cholesterol -- that notorious clogger of arteries.

Or so I thought. Then, a few months ago I read a headline that made me wonder: Low Cholesterol Linked to Violence, Suicide.

Violence? Suicide? Is it possible that someone's cholesterol level might be too low?

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